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Elections panel hasn’t discussed voter request yet

By TODD RICHMOND
Associated Press

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin elections officials said Friday that they’ll sell some voter information to a presidential commission investigating election fraud, but some data are off-limits.

President Donald Trump’s Advisory Commission on Election Integrity sent a letter to all the states and the District of Columbia on Wednesday giving them two weeks to provide about a dozen points of voter data, including birthdates, the last four digits of Social Security numbers and any information about felony convictions. Some Democratic election officials have refused to comply.

The Wisconsin Elections Commission oversees state elections. The six-member commission is split evenly between Republican and Democratic appointees chosen by Republican Gov. Scott Walker and each party’s legislative leaders.

Mike Haas, the administrator of the commission, issued a statement Friday saying most of the information in the state’s voter registration system is public, including voters’ names, addresses and voting history. The state doesn’t collect any data about a voter’s political preferences or sex, he said.

The data are available for purchase and the commission must release them to buyers, Haas said, adding that the commission routinely sells the information to political parties, candidates and researchers. The commission would charge the presidential panel $12,500 for the data, the maximum amount allowed under agency rules, he said. State law doesn’t contain any provisions for waiving the fee.

Haas said Wisconsin law allows the commission to release voter birthdates, driver’s license numbers and Social Security numbers only with police and other state agencies, and the presidential commission doesn’t appear to fall into any of those categories.

Vice President Mike Pence is the chairman in charge of the presidential commission. His spokesman, Marc Lotter, said the commission is seeking only data that are available publicly under state law. He didn’t immediately reply to a follow-up email asking if the commission would pay Wisconsin the $12,500.

Scot Ross, executive director of liberal advocacy group One Wisconsin Now, issued a statement Friday saying Trump can’t be trusted with voter data since the FBI is investigating potential coordination between his campaign and Russia.

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